I wasn’t going to post about this, but it’s been an elephant in the room for me all week, and consequently I’ve not really been thinking much about anything else. It’s an odd time to be job hunting. I feel like I’m self isolating anyway - which has not allowed me to do as much reading as I thought it would - and between employment uncertainty, and not knowing what the implications of this virus are going to be over the next couple of months is making it really hard to plan.
I like having a plan and things to look forward to - as lots of us do. I’ve gone ahead and booked flights to Shetland in May knowing that they might be cancelled, but also knowing that last minute travel is prohibitively expensive. I’m not making any other plans more than a few days ahead, partly because so much stuff is getting cancelled anyway, but more because being prepared to do whatever we can to slow the spread of this thing down is important.
I’m also sympathetic towards people who are stocking up, not that there’s much evidence of panic buying in Leicester city centre. I grew up on an island off the mainland of Shetland, there were never more than a couple of families on it, generally just us in the winter, and getting storm bound wasn’t unusual. A formative experience in all sorts of ways, I’ve never liked to have empty cupboards - just in case, and because you never know.
When I found out I was being made redundant last year one of the first things I did was clear out all the cupboards in my kitchen, getting rid of anything out of date, and restocking them until they were over full (there may be olive oil and preserved lemons lurking in a box under my bed)*. It was a mostly rational decision, I was working for Waitrose, knew I wouldn’t be able to easily buy a lot of these nice things anymore, and that whilst I was earning there was no guilt attached to buying a few extra packets of biscuits or the expensive sardines with lemon. There was also an element of this being something that I could control in the middle of having no idea what the future would bring.
And very useful all those things have been, they’re still helping me keep a lid on my current spending without my going without which has been really good for morale. After fires in Australia, floods here, a climate crisis that everybody is surely closer to having to accept, Brexit, and all the other crap going in the world, a situation where the advice is more or less to hide under the blankets is something it seems we can embrace.
If extra pasta and toilet roll (or choco Leibniz and preserved lemons) make anyone feel like they can at least do this one thing in the face of very real worry about either our own health or that of our loved ones I’m not judging. Just in time logistics inevitably means that any significant or unexpected demand for specific items will cause short term supply issues. If nothing else this might be a timely reminder to think about how supply chains work, and all the things we’ve come to take for granted in how we shop.
Mostly though, just keep well!
*My kitchen is tiny, there are only 2 very small cupboards to put food in.